Mantua Matters

December 2007


The following is a personal biography as requested by the Editor.

I was born 53 years ago in southern California in the type of community best illustrated by the TV program Wonder Years.

My family moved from time to time, and consequently I have lived in both northern and southern California, Arkansas and Colorado. I have traveled extensively across this beautiful country of ours.

I met my husband, Roger at college in southern California, where I received my degree in Criminal Justice, as I planned to become an attorney.

My family moved from southern California to Seattle, where Roger and I were soon married. I continued my education at the University of Washington.

We have been happily married now for 32 years. We have lived in the same home on High St. for the past 23 years, where we raised our 2 children, Sarah 27 and Wesley 24. Both of them went to Village Elementary and on to graduate from Kent State University, Wesley with his Master’s Degree this past August.

When I discovered Mantua Village, some 24 years ago, I immediately fell in love with this little town. It had so much to offer, with our old fashioned Main Street and the cozy homes clustered on the hillside, and of course the Cuyahoga River. It looked like New England to me.

As many of you know, I am a Realtor with Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer Co. I consistently rank in the top 3% countywide and 12% state wide.

It is my love of community that initiated my run for office, the desire to see our small town prosper. I can tell you that the one thing that impressed me the most while door-to-door campaigning, was the pride of ownership that I saw as I walked up to each front door.

Whether it was the flowers growing, the American flag waving, the polished front porches or very often just the little things. It is my hope and desire that together we can spread this pride throughout our Village.

…………………….Donna Hawkins


Jennifer August, newly-elected Clerk-Treasurer for the Village, was born in Hiram, the fourth of five children.

She graduated from Crestwood High School and graduated in 1979 from the University of Akron with a degree in Management.

Jenny has lived on Canada Road (her favorite road) since 1992. Her 2 sons, Ken and Ben are both Kent State graduates. Her daughter, Angie, is currently in the Kent State Nursing sequence. She also has a 3 year old granddaughter, Maddy.

She enjoys many hobbies including, baking, sudoku, baby sitting, jigsaw puzzle and working (playing) in the yard. She will assume her new duties in April of 2008.

We are happy to welcome Jenny to the Village Administration team and wish her the best of luck in her new position.

The Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department would like to express our appreciation to the residents of our Fire District in supporting the 1.9 mil EMS Operations levy. This long tradition of voter support is never taken for granted and we will strive to provide you with a quality EMS and Fire Protection Service that we can all be proud of.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Fire Department’s operation, please contact the Fire Chief at 330-274-3535.

You are welcome to attend a Fire District Board Meeting. The Board meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 1900 hours (7:00 pm) at the station.

Thank you again.

The Members and Officers of the
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department.


With the help of the Downtown Revitalization Committee, Mantua applied for - and received - a grant of $15,000. The funds were awarded through the Comprehensive Downtown Revitalization Tier One Program which is administered by the Ohio Department of Development. Just 6 Tier One grants are available each year.

Mantua competed against communities state-wide and was selected based on existing momentum of the revitalization project, community involvement and potential for success.

Communities receiving a Tier One grant are expected to complete a comprehensive revitalization plan and apply for a Tier Two grant - funds for implementing that plan.

In the last issue of Mantua Matters, you were invited to a community meeting to discuss the future of downtown. At that meeting in September, consultants E.G. & G, Inc reviewed their assessment of existing conditions and asked community members, “If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do to improve Mantua?

You can view the presentation from the September meeting online…and read all comments from those in attendance. Go to and click on Downtown Revitalization on the right side. Scroll down to Community Input and click on 9-07 Existing Conditions Summary & Public Input/Comments.

Using that report as a basis, E.G. & G., Inc. prepared a few concepts for improving the appearance of commercial areas in the Village. The sketches address many of the details that make downtown look old and worn-out. Suggestions include:

Many of the elements in the sketches are typical of those seen in any town that has undergone a streetscape project. The Revitalization Committee wants Mantua’s streetscape to reflect the character and history of the area, so the sketches are being tweaked. Still, they begin to show what Mantua could look like and they may get you thinking about other improvements. After some minor revisions, these sketches will be displayed around town and presented at another community meeting in January.

Also in the existing conditions summary, it was noted that “the deteriorating condition and worn-out appearance of downtown communicate a negative image of the village and adversely affect the community’s economic development potential and quality of life“.

Comments from your neighbors at the meeting included everything from small changes that could be made today - sweeping sidewalks, cleaning windows, planting flowers, waving at each other - to major considerations for the future - widening sidewalks, relocating industry away from the river, and recruiting specific businesses.

Watch for the announcement of the next meeting in January and please plan to attend. We need your ideas, suggestions and input.

Michelle Barnauscus


I grew up in Streetsboro, graduated from high school in 1972 and then joined the Merchant Marines and worked on great lake ships for 2 years. I then moved to southern California.

I met my wife Donna, now Mayor-Elect, in an Administration of Justice class. We were later married in Seattle, Washington in l975. I continued my education at the University of Washington.

We moved back to Ohio where I took a job with Lubriquip, where I have worked for the last 27 years. The last seven years in process improvement, utilizing value streaming, lean thinking and six sigma cost saving strategies.

Donna and I moved to Mantua in 1984 and we both became involved with the Board of Zoning Appeals. I have served as Chairman for the past 18 years. We have both enjoyed serving the community and look forward to the next 4 years.

Roger Hawkins


“Ohio’s winters are known for their unpredictability,” commented Chief Buchert. “I suggest you take the following precautions in order to stay safe on the road”.

Chief Buchert mentioned that preparing an emergency kit for your car is also a good idea. Include items such as blankets, extra clothing, dry rations (raisins, nuts, candy), a flashlight with extra batteries, flares, a steel shovel, sand in case you are stuck and waterproof matches with candles. The chief said that the best protections from problems with winter driving is to winterize your car. Get a tune-up, consider snow tires or chains.

Winter driving does not have to be a hazardous undertaking. A few simple precautions can prevent accidents from happening and keep you prepared just in case they do occur.


This report covers the months of August, September and October, 2007

Total Cases: 139
Traffic/Parking Cites: 82
Warnings: 206
Criminal Arrests: 4
Calls to Dispatch: 1,383
Total Mileage: 10,738
Mutual Aid Calls: 104
Officer Hours Worked: 2,481
Dispatch Hours Worked: 2,246
Citizen/Motorist Assists: 90
Open Doors/Windows: 28
Suspicious Persons/Vehicles: 34
House Checks: 71
Bar Checks: 77
Water/Sewer Plant Checks: 205
Reservoir Checks: 199
Lift Station Checks: 887


It was a beautiful fall evening, not too chilly with the scent of fallen leaves in the air. It was Halloween night in Mantua.

It was attended by Luke Skywalker, Minnie Mouse, Bam Bam, some bees, GI Joes, a large Toucan and even a couple of Playboy bunnies. I noticed a absence of ghouls, monsters and other scary creatures. The kids seem to prefer cute costumes and TV and movie characters.

Many parents and older siblings accompanied the trick or treaters. The kids were polite, chatty and having a great time.

Many large towns and cities are eliminating this event because of dangers involved. We are so fortunate to be able to continue giving our children the joy of ‘trick or treating”.


Village Snow Safety

Snow … Snow.. where are you? Although we have been fortunate to not have very much snow yet this Winter, the likelihood that we will be burdened with heavy snow is still there. The heavy snow, and your handling of it, potentially threatens the safety of our pedestrians, especially our children.

The sidewalks must be kept clear of piles of snow. When snow is piled on the sidewalks, children are forced to walk in the street, which makes them vulnerable to motorists driving on slippery roads.

We must all work together to keep our sidewalks clear and snow piles low for safety. This is a community-wide problem. Together we can solve it. If assistance is needed or questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact the Village Service or Police Department.

Snow Parking Ban

Remember that with the bad weather of winter, come special considerations to allow our Service Department crews to keep ahead of Old Man Winter. An overnight parking ban is in effect from 3:00 am to 6:00 am on various streets in the downtown business district year-round, but is especially critical when the snow flies.

In addition if a SNOW EMERGENCY is called (usually after, but not limited to a snowfall of over 2-3 inches) there is to be no parking on any Business District street or any other Village street during the designated period of time. Any vehicle parked in these areas may be towed.

During the regular snowy days you would make life much easier for your Service crews, if you would be a good neighbor and park off-street as much as possible. It helps them to do a better job of clearing the snow, which makes it safer for all of us.

The Village of Mantua will not be responsible for replacing any type of improvements made by residents within the road right-of-way, if damaged by snowplow operations. Examples include, railroad ties, decorative gravel, sprinkler heads and lines, lighting, shrubs and trees.

With the winter season just around the corner and in order to help our employees to continue to do an excellent job of keeping our streets clear, the Service Department would like to inform you of certain procedures that apply to the removal of snow and the salting of streets throughout the Village.

Streets must be plowed from side to side as quickly as possible, to allow full width emergency equipment and to provide full driving lanes for motorists. Plowing will be performed on all primary streets first followed by secondary.

Drainage basins must be kept clear of ice and snow to allow melt water to drain properly and to prevent ice dams and ice buildup that creates road hazards.

All residents must make every effort to comply with a snow parking ban to allow the Service Department full access to pavement for thorough snow plowing and salting.

Christmas Trees

The Village Service crews will pick up your discarded Christmas trees. Place the tree at the curb or on the tree lawn. The trees are then chipped and recycled.


As the holidays approach, the Village Service Department: Ed Trego, Donna Maynard, Paul Brannon, Tom Bowersox and Louie Barbuscio wish for the Families of Mantua Village ---- Peace

Peace in our World
Peace in our Country
Peace in our State
Peace in our Community
Peace in our Hearts

The Service Department would like to take this opportunity to thank the local companies and individuals who have made generous donations of their time or materials to the Village for use in the parks, trails, cemetery, and all other Village properties..

It is the generosity of people like this that helps to make Mantua a great place to live, work and raise a family.


The Mantua Rotary Club will be celebrating its 61st year at its Charter Night Event on December 11. Special program will be announced.

Thanks to all who helped make Mantua Rotary Club’s Christmas Tour of Homes a success. The weather was great, the homes beautifully and uniquely decorated and the food at St. Joseph’s was wonderful. Many thanks to home hosts, to St. Joseph’s for the lunch, to TL Express for the use of their facility for the Craft Show and to Mantua Station Drug for the use of the Caboose for ticket selling.

If you would like your home to be considered or know of one we should consider for the 2009 tour, please call Jim at 330-274-8738 or Virginia at330-274-2376.

It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the annual Variety Show, sponsored by the Mantua Rotary Club. It will be held on April 5, 2008, at Hiram College Hayden Hall.

If you or someone you know should be considered for a part of that performance, please call Helen Hazlett at 330-274-2231.

………………Virginia Goodell


Be at the Mini-Park on the corner of Prospect & Main Street, Friday night, December 7th, at 6 pm to watch Santa arrive atop a Fire Department vehicle. He will be passing out candy canes donated by Haylett’s. There will also be hot chocolate & donuts at this event sponsored by the Mantua-Shalersville Chamber of Commerce.


Don’t forget to come pick out your Christmas Tree at the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station. Prices this year are $40. As usual, with your purchase you will be automatically entered into a raffle drawing for 1 of 4 prizes - 1st, a $30 gift certificate to Cracker Barrel, 2nd, a beef roast, 3rd , a ham and 4th a turkey. All proceeds benefit the Lions sight-related projects. We prefer that you come during daylight hours. Sale continues until all trees are gone. For more information contact Larry Hurd at 330-297-7905 or Harold Ullman at 330-274-2516.

Need a last minute Christmas present? Lions District Fun Calendars are available for purchase at $30.00 each from Lion Harold Ullman.

The calendars are good for one year (January - December) and are based on the Ohio Lottery Pick 3 evening numbers (except Sunday night numbers). Each participant picks an available 3-digit number for the whole year. Numbers that match the Ohio Lottery evening Pick 3 numbers win. Pick a special date for each calendar and if you win on that date your winnings are $200. Proceeds go to the Multiple District 13D Eyecare Foundation for sight-related needs. Contact Harold Ullman at 330-274-2516for more information.

The Carnation Day sale is wrapping up with delivery scheduled for December 6th, 7th and 8th. Thank you to the Flower Nook in Mantua for helping us on the fund raiser.

A big thank you to the Crestwood Middle School for letting us host the Lions Multiple District 13D Cabinet meeting in November. There was a business meeting and a full catered dinner from Siciliano’s in Ravenna, all hosted by the members of the Crestwood Lions Club. This meeting was a huge success, so Thank you on behalf of Vice District Governor Harold Ullman and his wife, Joyce and the members of the Crestwood Lions Club.

The Lions Club is interested in starting a Leo Club for youngsters in the Crestwood School District. The Leo Club Program objective is: “To provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively as responsible members of the local, national, and international community”.

The Leo Club motto is:
Leadership - Leos develop skills as organizers, time managers, and motivators of their peers.
Experience - Leos learn the importance of cooperation through the performance of community service.
Opportunity - Membership in a Leo club provides young people with a chance to excel, to develop character traits and to receive recognition for their contributions to the community.

Please contact Lynne McDermott at 330-274-0837 or email her at, if you are interested or want to know more. Visit and follow the links to youth programs for complete information from Lions International.

For eyesight needs in the Crestwood School District call Doug McIntosh at 330-274-2384. All information is kept confidential and certain qualifications apply. Remember, old eyeglasses can be reused for someone in need. Drop boxes are provided in various local businesses throughout town.

Lions International is made up of Lions Clubs dedicated to serving their communities with volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about the Crestwood Lions Club, contact Lion Harold Ullman at 330-274-2516 or check us out on the web at or email us at

Bi-monthly dinner meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7pm at the Portage Faith United Methodist Church.

………………John Evans, PR Chairman


Fall and winter clean-up has been taking place at Hillside Cemetery and the board members have been busy removing the flower pots and annuals planted this past spring.

By removing the flowers from the pots, planters and beds at the cemetery before winter sets in, it helps save time and money when the warm weather returns in the spring.

We invite everyone who owns or cares for cemetery graves to please join us in our efforts by removing your potted plants or old decorations in anticipation of the holiday season. If you would like us to remove your old decorations or planters, feel free to contact one of us at the numbers listed below. Please note that any items we remove will not be saved.

Clean- up of Hillside Cemetery is an ongoing task and we encourage everyone to help do their part in its care and maintenance.

John Hall 274-8516, Lisa Zamecnik 274-2127 or Cookie Vanek 274-5262


Americanism and Government tests were given the 1st week of November to Crestwood High School Students in the 11th and 12th grades.

Pins, medal awards and monetary gifts were given to the winning students. Tests were graded by Legion and Auxiliary members John Hitti, John Kowalchik, Joyce Hannum, Commander Bob Gharky and Virginia Gharky.

Winners were 12th grade: Ian Jones (highest scorer of all) and Brandi Slease. 11th grade: Matt Cymanski and Megan Tulley. Certificates and awards will be given to the winning students before Christmas.

The Legion meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, September through May at 7:30, at the Post Home at 4808 E. High St.

The Legion Auxiliary also meets at the Post Home on High St. on the 2nd Monday of each month, September through May at 1:00 pm.


We have all experienced the inconvenience of a power failure during a winter storm. Here are a few tips for ensuring food safety at these times.

Be Prepared:
Have a refrigerator thermometer.
Know where you can get dry ice.
Keep on hand a few days worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking of cooling.

When the Power Goes Out:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
Refrigerators should be kept at 40 degrees F. or below for proper food storage.

Once the Power is Restored:
Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer.
If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the thermometer reads 40 degrees F. or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees F. or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power as out for no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible.
Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40 degrees F. for more than 2 hours.

Source……..U.S. FDA


Before crawling up on the roof to string the Christmas lights, you should be aware that every year, hospital emergency rooms treat over 12,000 people for injuries such as falls, cuts, and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees.

Use only lights that have been tested for safety and that have fused plugs. Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections and throw out damaged sets. Make sure lights have been certified for outdoor use, before using outside.

Sometimes people are having such a nice time during the holidays that they forget to extinguish candles. Always put out lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Keep burning candles within sight.

Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Place candles where they will not be knocked down.

When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and do not break. The trunk of a fresh tree is sticky with resin and when tapped on the ground, should not loose many needles.

When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.

Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation if decorating with spun glass “angel hair”. Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation if decorating with artificial snow sprays.

Source………U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


While shopping from home allows you to shop at your own convenience, that convenience does not come without risk. Follow these tips to help you shop safely from your home.

Know who you are dealing with:
Your best protection when shopping from home is to do business with companies you know to be legitimate. If you are not familiar with the company’s reputation, it’s important to check it out.

Look for a company’s online privacy policy:
Many companies with privacy practices post their policy on their Web site. A company’s privacy policy should disclose what information is being collected on the Web site and how that information is being used. Before you provide a company with personal information, check or request its privacy policy.

Pay by credit or charge card:
If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, consumers have the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while a creditor is investigating them. In the case of unauthorized use of a consumer’s credit card, consumers are generally held liable for the first $50 in charges.

Checking shipping and handling fees:
Retailers often add a shipping and handling fee to the price of an item, based on where the order is shipped, the cost, or weight of the goods. Online buyers generally can select from several delivery options at various costs. Be sure to find out about the options and costs and then chose the delivery method you prefer or the retailer may decide for you. Also, check return and restocking policies before you order. Because items such as software and Cds can be copied, they are sometimes not returnable. Companies may also charge a restocking fee if you return an item.

Keep records of your purchases:
When ordering by phone or computer, write down or print out information related to the transaction, including the seller’s name, address and phone number, the name of the person you spoke with, if applicable, a description of what you ordered and the seller’s delivery date, terms and return policies.

Seek help if you have a problem:
If you can’t resolve your problem by working directly with the company, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-282-0515, your Better Business Bureau, or the Federal Trace Commission’s toll-free helpline at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

These tips are important because, while just 4 years ago, 27% of computer users were using the Internet, now 81% of users are online. And North Americans represent 43% of the online population with the Internet waves spreading rapidly beyond its U.S. origins, according to the Computer Industry Almanac.

It is important for all of us to look not only for our own safety when shopping from home, but also for the safety of our elderly and other vulnerable populations, because they are often the target of con artists and swindlers.

By arming them with the proper tools and knowledge, we can prevent consumers from losing money to deceitful sweepstakes solicitors and telemarketers.

H. W. Buchert
Chief of Police